Russian intelligence officials made their first attempt to hack 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private emails on the same day that then-candidate Donald Trump publicly called on Russia to recover Clinton’s emails.
According to a new indictment released Friday as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian government’s election meddling campaign, Russian officials attempted to infiltrate Clinton’s personal emails, her campaign’s emails and other private information belonging to Democratic campaign officials.
The indictment notes that “on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign.”
That same day, Trump held a press conference at his Miami-area hotel where he publicly asked Russia to find and publish Clinton’s missing emails.
“They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted. You’d see some beauties, so we’ll see,” Trump said on the same day that Democrats were having their party’s official convention in Philadelphia.
“Russia, if you are listening,” he said, “I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press.”
There is no chance this was a coincidence. None. https://t.co/kVnAp9rHH1
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) July 13, 2018
The Hill notes:
Friday’s indictment shows that the Russian operation targeted Clinton earlier that year — in April, they tried to convince Clinton staffers to open an attachment that would have led the staffers to a Russian website.
And it’s unclear whether Trump’s call predated the attempts to hack Clinton’s personal email, as the indictment is vague about the exact timing of those attempts.